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February 28, 2005: More Promotion
It feels as though I have spent more time promoting Once Upon a Sofa than I ever spent writing it. I'm sure that's not true, but it's certainly how it feels. February was much like January in that I devoted much of my writing time to promotion. And I actually kind of liked some of it.
My publisher helped (a little). As a newbie author, I know not to expect too much. But, I wrote to the Kensington webmaster, and she quickly and graciously put up an author page for me on the Kensington web site.
I also learned that Kensington sends out review copies to the major romance reviewers. I think this means the major print romance reviewers. So I set out to send homemade advance reading copies to a select set of on-line romance reviewers.
I had been having visions of standing over a copier in my local office supply store, feeding 220 pages of manuscript into a copier and stopping every few minutes to clear paper jams. But one glorious evening, I discovered the wonderful conjunction of Federal Express and Kinko's. I uploaded the word document of my ARC to Kinko's web site, chose ten copies, gave it my credit card number and address and, two days later, a carton of collated documents appeared at my front door. How wonderful. I ordered pre-posted priority mail envelopes from the Postal Service web site and, in no time, I had my review copies ready to go out the door. Have I mentioned that I love the Internet?
My first contest is still running at my web site, http://www.myrettarobens.com. It will end on March 15, when I will announce the winner in my first newsletter. I am starting to have a respectable sized mailing list and am starting to think about what I should put in the newsletter. I want it to be interesting and informative and the sort of thing people will be dying to read. Well, I want it to be interesting and informative and the sort of thing people won't want to delete without reading.
I have also continued my character journal on the web site. It's interesting to me to see what Sidney and Isabel are up to prior to their first meeting. I wonder if it's interesting to anyone else.
My book is up at Amazon. Is this cool or what? I admit to periodically just going to Amazon to look at it. Maybe you'd all like to see it, too.
A Zebra Authors forum has been set up by Writerspace - if you're interested, email me for the link. At this point, it seems mostly to be just Zebra authors talking to each other. Not, that Zebra authors aren't perfectly lovely people to talk to, but it would be nice to have some readers over there as well. One can but keep posting and hope.
I got my first fan mail as a result of this journal. It was a delightful note from a reader who had happened to click on the link to my journal from the AAR home page and who said she had enjoyed reading about my journey to publication. I can only hope that, when Once Upon a Sofa finally comes out (in May!), it will receive the warm reception this journal has. Thanks to the lovely woman who sent me the e-mail and who made me smile for several days.
The New Jersey Romance Writers accepted my proposal to give a workshop on using history in romance at their October conference. I will be signing my first two books at that conference as well. Now, if I can only get that third book finished.
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