Friday, August 5, 2011

Caroline Clemmons: Promotion with Discipline + Giveaway

30 Days of Promo Goodness continues today with Caroline Clemmons, one of the founding members of Sweethearts of the West! Caroline has also kindly offered a giveaway for today's commenters, too - read on for more info....

Caroline Clemmons writes romance and adventures—although her earliest made up adventures featured her saving the West with Roy Rogers. Her career has included stay-at-home mom (her favorite job), newspaper reporter and featured columnist, assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal, and bookkeeper. She and her husband live in rural North Central Texas with a menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family, reading, travel, browsing antique malls and estate sales, and genealogy/family history. Her latest contemporary and historical romance releases in print and e-book from The Wild Rose Press include The Texan's Irish Bride, Out of the Blue, Home Sweet Texas Home. Her novella Save Your Heart for Me is available as a download only. Her backlist of contemporary and historical romance is now at Smashwords and Kindle. Read about her at www.carolineclemmons.com.

Now take it away, Caroline....

Promotion is a dirty, nasty, hated word. After all, I became a writer to, well, write books. Sweet, naive me thought publishers would do all that marketing stuff and I could spend my time writing more books. I have so many plans for books, plans I’m eager to transform into manuscripts and get into readers’ hands. What a shock to learn I have to promote my name and my books. Since I’m a person of, ahem, strong opinions, it might come as a shock to know I hate calling attention to myself. Happiness for me is sitting in my nice office listening to classical music and creating worlds and characters with my two cats nearby. But, wait. I want readers to buy my current book, and then buy the next one, and on and on. What can I do? As we say here in Texas, I to cowgirled up.

I’m sure each of you has a website. If not, get one right now. No, wait until after you’ve read this blog. A website is crucial even though some authors believe blogs have overshadowed the need for a website. You need a website to spotlight your books, your appearances, free reads, and whatever else you want to include. Recipes are a draw, excerpts also. Reviews influence readers. Get a professional, so your website is a credit to your name, but make sure you can make changes without an Act of Congress.

Promotion that’s worked best for me is blogging. It turns out I like blogging. It’s writing, after all, and I can sit in my office that I call my pink cave and write a blog whenever I feel like it, then schedule it for the correct day on Blogger. My blog is fed onto Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and my Amazon author page. I’m seen everywhere and can relax now, right?

Not even a little. There more: Blog tours, guest blogs, arranging guests on my blog, tweeting about upcoming special guests, tweeting interesting tidbits, posting on Facebook, getting reviews on Goodreads, speaking, teaching, book signings, and newsletters. I could spend at least twelve hours a day promoting. When will I find time to write my next book?

As that fitness guru used to say, “Stop the insanity!” You need a plan, a system to help you divide your working time. That’s the hardest part for me, the discipline to devote only so much time to promotion, to email, and the rest to writing.

Discipline? Noooooo! My weakest flaw! My downfall! Unless you discipline yourself, you’ll end up blogging, tweeting, facebooking (new verb?), reading blogs, and emailing until there’s no time left to write. What’s the point of building fans if you have no new books to sell?

My solution is to use a timer. When it goes off, I might not be ready to quit marketing or emailing or reading friends’ blogs, but I stop. Then, I start writing and there’s no more promotion or goofing off until tomorrow--Discipline by default.


Thank you, Caroline, for the fantastic blog! Readers, you can read more from Caroline on her blog and she loves to hear from readers at caroline@carolineclemmons.com!

By commenting to Caroline's posts today or tomorrow, you will be entered to win a PDF copy of her latest novel, Home Sweet Texas Home! The winner will be chosen by the True Random Number Generator at Random.Org and announced here at Cozy on Sunday, August 7th so check back to see if you have won. Just a few reminders: chances of winning depend on the number of entries and you must be 18 years or older to enter.

Stop back by tomorrow for a glimpse into Home Sweet Texas Home and more from Caroline Clemmons....

4 comments:

Caroline Clemmons said...

Thanks for hosting me.

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Caroline, I love this article! Thank you for taking the time to join the promotion discussion here at Cozy!

Lynne Marshall said...

Dear Caroline, please sign me up for that timer! You chose the perfect picture (The Scream) to depict how I feel at times. It's just all too much, and I really don't see huge evidence of how everything works.

I try to make goals when I'm guest blogging. 1. get new people to sign up for my newsletter. 2. have five people I didn't encourage to come to the blog, comment at guest blog posts. 2. have a new review pop up.
Sometimes I'm sucessful. Sometimes I'm not. As for book sales, well, we just have to wait for the quarterly statements, don't we?

Best of luck to you and thanks for your great information.

Lynne Marshall

LaVerne Clark said...

Caroline - please sprinkle some of that discipline fairy dust on me! : )

I'm going to go and steal my egg-timer from my kitchen and do what you do. Thanks so much! It's in my head to only check emails and surf the web AFTER I write a certain amount of words, but sometimes that is too hard and I find myself drifting to the dark side again...

Right! I've got the egg-timer set now, another 10 minutes of surfing and I'll get into my current WIP.