Happy Memorial Day to me!! I’ve just heard from my editor, The Scientist and the Supermodel has been “tentatively” scheduled for release on May 31. I’m so excited i’ll even happy dance at “tentatively”.
I have a dear friend who is a NYT best-selling author who retired recently, partly due to the need to promote her own books. Back in the glory days, publishers did most all the promotion, and authors just had to show up. Not so today. Even the best are expected to promote themselves.
I’m new to fiction writing, so I don’t know any better. Plus, I differ from many authors in that I have a background in public relations, so I take to the promotion stuff pretty easily. I don’t yet know how my promotional activities will pay off in sales, if at all. After all, I’m brand new. But I have had writer friends ask me to talk about what I do for promotion. So over the next few posts, if people want, I’ll talk about various aspects of book promotion from my very newbie viewpoint.
First, start before you need to. I put up this author blog, back last June before I had even submitted my books to Loose Id. I created the blog to support what I wanted my “brand identity” to be. (Please forgive these over used words. You get the idea.) I wrote about other people’s books in my genre. I did special reports on kissing, on androgyny, and lots of pictures of beautiful men. I developed a small following, and have continued to post to the blog about twice a week. I monitor it daily on Google Analytics to see how it falls off between posts, and which posts are most popular. Most important, the blog helped make some people aware of me. I promote the blog continuously on Twitter and Facebook, and developed more awareness there. (The use of Twitter and FB are subjects for another post.)
After my first book was accepted for publication, I took Christy Lockhart’s suggestion and started posting on craft topics – where the ideas come from, writing your passion, etc I still did racy and funny videos and pictures to keep up the image. These posts built my following further.
Also upon acceptance of the novel,Genetic Attraction, I developed my website. I figured people would now start to check it out, and I needed an authoritative platform to show I was a serious author. Please note, I developed both my blog and my website myself. I have very limited technical skills, and they don’t look very slick or professional, but I know how to change them myself without relying on a webmaster. Updating your site is the key to ongoing traffic building, so, for now, I’m trading the look for the ease-of-use – and the low cost.
Well in advance of publication, I also started blogging at Savvy Authors and collecting friends on Goodreads. Some of LI’s authors were kind enough to invite me to participate in their Yahoo chats. The bottom line is that before my book came out, there were people waiting for it and people who knew my name. Now, whether they bought it, THAT’S another story I won’t know for weeks and months to come. LOL!!
What do you do well in advance of a release to “prime the pump”? : )
I recently was interviewed by Drea Becraft on her great blog as part of my introduction and launch of Genetic Attraction. I had a great time answering these questions, so i thought i would share them with you in case you didn’t see them at Drea’s place. A bit about me *blush*:
Questions about book:
What inspired this story?
I discovered erotic romance in 2009 and was hooked! I loved it, especially M/M and ménage. I decided, after a lifetime of writing non-fiction, that I really wanted to write a novel. But what about? Well, when you’re writing fantasy, it makes sense to start with your fantasies. I always loved older-woman/ younger/man stories, but I knew that I wanted a M/M element in the story too, so, voila, a ménage was born. I love capable women characters, and in my great day job (I own a small ad/PR agency) I get to meet people from all kinds of fascinating professions and industries. I heard about a woman geneticist doing all kinds of interesting work, and I thought, bingo, that’s what I want my heroine to do. My one hero needed to be a part of her world, so he’s also a scientist. The other hero I wanted to be from a really different world, and I wanted him to be famous so it would be hard to keep the relationship quiet. That’s where my yummy supermodel, Roan Black, comes in.
What was your favorite part of the book to write – the beginning, middle, or ending?
Wow, that’s hard. I loved it all. Endings are really fun because , if you’ve set up your plot well, the characters are hurtling towards a powerful conclusion. But the sad part about endings is, well, the ending. Then you have to write a sequel or a prequel because you can’t let your characters go! LOL.
Is there a message in your book that you want the reader to grasp?
My heroine’s mother, Shakti, tells her, “You always have a choice, baby.”
I think that’s the message. No matter how impossible the consequences of our choices, we STILL have a choice.
How long have you been a author?
This is the first novel I ever wrote. I have since contracted another book, am editing a third and writing a fourth. So I guess a year. I have been writing non-fiction for a lifetime, however.
Whats the biggest surprise you’ve discovered about the writing process?
The degree to which it happens on it’s own. There’s an old play I’ve always loved called Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello. In it six characters that have been unresolved by their writer come to a theatre company to have their story played out. It’s so true. You start a scene and your characters tell you about themselves and the story. You just try to keep up. In my currentWIP, the hero’s boss comes to talk to him and I suddenly realized, oh my gosh, she’s Chinese. I didn’t know that until she told me. LOL.
Do you have any other upcoming releases or projects?
The prequel to Genetic Attraction, called The Scientist and the Supermodel, has been contracted by Loose Id and will appear, I imagine, in the spring. I am editing the sequel to Genetic Attraction titled Androgynous Dreams. And I’m working on a new book that takes place in the ballet world tentatively called The Golden Dancer.
Where can readers find you?
This may be waaay to much information:
Author blog: http://taralain.blogspot.com
Book blog: http://beautifulboysbooks.blogspot.com
Savvy Authors: http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/member.php?2398-Tara-Lain
What do you do to recharge your batteries?
I adore movies. Before I started writing fiction, I used to see one or even two a week. Not so much now. I also love Pilates (I have a reformer in my home) and yoga which I started practicing way before it was fashionable.
Whats the one thing you can’t write without?
This is a convoluted way of saying this, but I can’t write without no music. In other words, I can’t write with music playing. Funny, I know most writers actually write to music. I can write with people talking and all kinds of hubbub, just not music. I think I’m so right-brained when I write, that the music competes for the right brain’s attention.
If you could choose anywhere in the world to set up your desk and write, where would you like it to be?
I live near the ocean which I love, but I can’t see it from my desk. Even more than the ocean, I love really big trees. So, I guess I’d like to be somewhere where my desk looked out on really big, lush trees. But I’m quite happy where I am.
Whats so special to you about this place?
I’ll answer about my current spot. It’s in a nice office in a lovely home that looks out on the ocean. Most important, my husband is here and family and friends are not too far away. That’s what counts. Plus, I have a computer that lets me make friends all over the world. I like that.
Who is on your “keeper” shelf?
A LOT. I have many books, dating from way back. Collections of Shakespeare, the Greeks, Emily Dickinson, Jane Austen, Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, and a ton more. In my own and related genres, I save Jet Mykles, Lynn Lorenz, J.R.Ward’s BDB, Charlaine Harris, a lot of Laurell K. Hamilton, the Twilight series (blush), plus a bunch of others.
What are you reading now?
Actually, I’m reading Tara Lain! While launching my book, I’m also doing this amazing editing intensive at Savvy Authors called Edit Palooza. We have to read through our own book as if we are a reader. So I popped my WIP on the Kindle and pretended. When I finally finish this month’s marathon efforts, I’ll go back to reading Breathe by Sloan Parker. I loved her first book and look forward to digging into this one.
I love that authors who introduce print books may go on a book tour, but we electronic authors get to go on blog tours! Book promotion in front of the computer. As you know, I’m new to fiction writing, but I have a background in PR, so I decided I could arrange my own tour (there are services out there that will do it for you, also). Starting about two months ago, I plunged in. How successful my tour was I won’t really know until I start to see sales figures, but meanwhile I can share some of the steps I went through to set up the tour.
- · Decide if you want your tour to begin before your book releases or on the date. Since I’m new and have no back list for an inspired reader to buy, I didn’t want to create too much demand that couldn’t be filled, so I decided to start on the day. Plus, I knew I wouldn’t have my blurb or copies of my book until right before its release. As it turned out, I started on the weekend before the Tuesday of release .
- · Start contacting authors and reviewers you know. If you have been on tour before, you have lots of contacts. I didn’t, so I started by offering myself as a guest blogger on the author’s loop from my publisher. I got lots of response. Next, I went to some of the author’s communities and Yahoo groups I belong to and offered there. More response. Authors are so kind in helping other writers, especially newbies.
- · Decide if you want more than one blog stop on a day. Sometimes you won’t have a choice, because the blog author will have a specific date they want you to appear. Most don’t mind if you double book as long as you support both posts with social media, etc.
- · Check each site for what type of blog they prefer. Some sites like interviews, others want you to write something in line with their blog’s theme or topic, others may just want an excerpt and blurb. Often, you’ll just have to be creative, so start thinking of fun blog posts that may tie in with your book ,but aren’t all about it.
- · Create a blog library. I don’t know if others do this, but it worked for me. Rather than waiting for the last moment, I started creating blog posts on different topics whenever I had a minute to create one. I still do this, even now that the tour is winding down. I had a last minute request for a post last night, and I had a fun post I’d created recently that I could send.
- · The required time before the post date (some blog owners want posts there a week in advance, others just the day before), prepare a complete document with the necessary materials attached and included. Send: your post, a book cover photo, a photo of you, your short bio, an excerpt from the book, your book blurb, your buy link, all your contact information, and in some cases, a contact at your publisher so the site can notify them. If the site is also going to review your book (Oh, JOY and happiness!! ) I generally send the book under separate cover to be sure it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. I know this is a LOT of stuff, but often if the site has all this they may use more than they’ve asked for, so give them a lot to choose from. Make a copy, and keep it in a file so you know when and to whom you sent it.
- · On the day(s) of your posts, check in frequently to answer questions and comments.
- · Promote every stop on your tour extensively – Facebook, Twitter, multiple Yahoo groups, direct e-mail if you have a contacts list, and not just once, but frequently throughout the day. If you’re lucky enough to be on the host site for more than one day, keep plugging it throughout. (What? You’re not doing all this social media? Time to start. But that’s a topic for another day LOL)
- · Thank your hosts for their hospitality, and return the favor whenever possible.
If this sounds like a lot of work, you’re correct. I was lucky to have some vacation time saved, plus I work from home, so I could keep up with my tour. But it was still a lot to do, and it definitely cut into my writing time. Still, I figured there’s no point in writing if there’s no one to read it, so for me it was definitely worth the investment of time and energy. Questions? Comments? Have you planned a blog tour? Suggestions on what works for you?
Sherri Desbois won the FREE copy of Genetic Attraction. I have her e-mail, so hopefully, it will be in her electronic hands soon. Hope you enjoy it, Sherri. Come back and tell us how you like it. : )
Wow. Genetic Attraction has only been out a week. My first book, and already i have some comments from reviewers and readers to share. So cool.
It’s quick, its fun, it makes you a little misty-eyed at all the right points then has you laughing moments later. I’m totally on board with Tara Lain and I can’t wait to read the next installment.”
The following short interview with award-winning scientist, Dr. Emmaline Silvay, occurs just before the events of Genetic Attraction now available from Loose Id at
First, a blurb about the book.
At a conservative Long Island University, renowned researcher, Dr. Emmaline Silvay, has two great loves – her life-saving work, and her younger research partner, Jake Martin. The romantic love is impossible. She’s his boss and he lives with his girlfriend. The the “girlfriend” is actually a boyfriend, the beautiful and infamous supermodel, Roan Black.
Resigned to a platonic relationship, Em accepts a weekend invitation to their home, but the men have a menage on their minds. She can’t resist, doesn’t even want to. But their intentions go far beyond passion. They want her to “be a part of them”. Their three-way love defies propriety and the standards of the University that funds their work. The supermodel’s fame makes secrecy impossible. Their ménage threatens to crumble all she’s worked for. What will give way to make room for genetic attraction?
But, in this interview, Em doesn’t yet know what happens when she goes for that weekend visit
Tara: Dr. Silvay, I’m delighted you had time to speak with me.
Em: My pleasure, and please call me Em.
Tara: Thank you, Em. Tell me what you’re working on.
Em: We research genetic sequencing. It provides the basis for tests that can determine the best course of treatment for major illnesses like cancer.
Tara: Sounds life-saving.
Em: It has that potential, yes. And we’re seeing very promising results in our clinical studies.
Tara: You say “we”. Who else is involved?
Em: I have a whole team here at the University. Of course, there’s my associate researcher, Dr. Martin.
Tara: That’s Dr. Jake Martin?
Em: Yes, have you seen him .. I mean, have you met him?
Tara: Yes, we’ve met. He seems to be a very big fan of yours.
Em: (smiling) He does? Uh, yes, I admire him a great deal. He’s brilliant and very good at his, uh, work.
Tara: (grinning) I got the feeling that he might be more than just a colleague of yours.
Em: What? Oh, well, he’s a friend also.
Tara: (smiling) I don’t mean to pry, but isn’t he more than a friend?
Em: (looking down) Oh, no. He’s committed elsewhere. He lives with his girlfriend in Connecticut. (looks up) And, of course, I am his lead researcher so that makes me his boss, sort of, and the University would so not approve, plus he’s much younger than I. What would he want with an old-maid scientist like me? (grins)
Tara: But you sound like you wouldn’t mind a more, shall we say, personal relationship?
Em: (grinning) You sound like my mother. She’s always telling me to have more sex! She’s outrageous, but I love her. (laughs) She says the professor I’m dating right now doesn’t know his dick from a laser pointer.
Tara: And what does she think of Dr. Martin?
Em: She calls him my adorable boy toy. (giggles) That’s very inappropriate.
Tara: So, what do you think will happen between you and Jake?
Em: (signs) It’s an impossible situation. I guess we’ll just stay good friends.
Tara: Despite your genetic attraction?
Em: (laughs) That’s good. I have to remember that.
Watch for much more about the writing of Genetic Attraction and my other novels in the coming days. : )
Okay, dear hearts. Here’s another scene from Genetic Attraction. It is very R-Rated, so don’t read on unless you want steamy! Leave a comment on this post or any other post from now til the end of the week and you could win a FREE copy of Genetic Attraction downloaded in your preferred format. Also, for those that may not have seen it, i’m reposting the book trailer at the end of this scene. Hey, it was a lot of work. Want everybody to see it!! LOL
“Well, little rock dweller, can I get you another glass of wine?”
“Maybe in a minute; right now I need a rest room.”
“Actually, I noticed a pretty long line outside the one in the hall.” He made a discreet point skyward. “But we VIPs happen to know there’s a little-known bathroom up in Howard’s bedroom.”
“Oh great.” She hopped off the stool, only feeling a little hit from the glass of chardonnay, and turned toward the stairs.
He gestured to the upper floor. “Want a guide?”
“No need. This house has a similar floor plan to mine. I’ll be back in a minute.”
Up the carpeted stairs lined with old historical photos, the noise died down and the lights were dim. She sagged against the wall for a minute to catch her breath. Jesus, Kovak; just what she needed. And then there was Isaac. He was an attractive man, very attractive actually, and single, and her age, and appropriate. Under ordinary circumstances, she’d be interested.
“Daydreaming about the new boyfriend?”
Guilt made her face heat. Shit. Jake.
“What are you doing here?” She turned and looked into his angry but still oh-so-beautiful face.
“This is a faculty party. Last time I checked, I was a member of the faculty.”
“You know what I mean. You haven’t been anywhere near this campus after five o’clock all week. Why the sudden social bent?”
Six-foot-two of upset man loomed over her. “Not happy to see me, Em? Afraid I’ll cramp your style with Dr. Loverboy down there?”
Okay, too much. Tears started running down her face. Shit, she was crying. “Stop it, Jake. There’s never anyone I want to see more than you.”
He stared at her, torn it seemed between anger and some other softer emotion. His hand shot out, grabbed her behind the head, and pulled her into his arms. And there was that ravenous mouth. Consuming. For a moment, words like Kovak and Isaac and Dr. Winton flashed in her mind. Oh, but this was Jake. She opened her mouth and accepted all of that questing tongue. The frustration, anger, hurt, and longing of the whole week flashed into passion, heat. Her body pressed against his, writhing on the huge erection that pressed into her abdomen. Oh God, somehow she had to get that where it belonged. She tried to climb him, thrusting her hips against his body, but the height difference was just too much. He pushed her back against the wall behind her, bent his knees, and came up with that rock-hard bulge pushing against her clit. Oh, shit, yes.
Still thrusting, he pulled his mouth from hers and gasped, “We can’t stay here. Where can we go?”
She grabbed his hand, slid herself out from under him on the wall, and led him into Howard’s bedroom two doors down the hall. There were some coats and purses on the bed, so guests might come in. She located the bathroom and pulled him into it. It was a smallish room — nothing like he was used to in Connecticut — just a shower stall, sink, and toilet with a cabinet above. Right now it looked like the Taj Mahal to her.
He pulled her into a heated kiss again, thrusting that tongue deep like she loved. She sucked on his tongue, her hands pawing at his fly, trying to open it. Never breaking the kiss, he took over the effort. He opened his belt, unbuttoned his pants, and pulled down his fly. She slipped her hand in and wrapped her fingers around that beautiful cock. She started to kneel, but he pulled her back.
“No,” he panted. “May not have much time. Want to fuck you.”
He looked around at the sink, but seemed to decide against it. He pulled his trousers down around his knees and sat down on the toilet seat with his big, wet cock pointing up at the ceiling.
Oh, wow. Mindless. The only goal in her universe was to mount and ride that big dick. Stripping off her thong, she straddled him and lowered herself to the one place on earth she wanted to be. Oh, sweet, sweet —
His head fell back. Eyes tightly shut, he moaned, “Em, oh, Em, please.”
She began to ride. Her hands planted on the wall behind the toilet, she pressed forward and rode up and down and up and down, her body shaking with pure lust. How had she lived a week without this? Vaguely, she heard some voices in the bedroom outside, but she simply didn’t care. This was too wonderful.
Both of them were shaking and panting — neither could last long. She planted her lips beside his ear and whispered every obscenely loving thing she could think of while he gasped and moaned. Harder and harder she rode, pushing her clit against his pubic bone until she was light-headed, her body like liquid fire. And then the fire exploded. “Jake, oh God!” Her body bucked and bucked on top of this dearest of men as she came — as hard as she could ever remember.
And here’s the book trailer: