A Writer Musing · Book Promotion & Marketing

The Daily Grind

Yesterday I launched my latest book and it felt good. Except for a rare half hour at Starbucks with my cafe mocha while chatting with a fellow author on my phone, there wasn’t much of a celebration. It was like a normal day – grocery shopping, picking up the kid and doing the laundry. Someone said I should have a glass of champagne but I just wasn’t in the mood. After following up with ARC readers from my mailing list and then peering with one eye open at their reviews, it was just a huge relief to finally get the book out to the world. Each review honestly scares the crap out of me (especially Goodreads where they can be brutally honest, with reaction gifs), but I can also not look.

But the feeling after this book launch feels like a rollercoaster ride that’s coasting back to the starting line and you have to get out and wait in line again.

So the waiting has started. I need to write my books again, although this time, I need to finish the prequel to Loving Ashe before releasing its sequel, Loving Riley. I can’t entertain anything else but that, not even a second book of Dax and Harlow. My dance card is full. That line to the rollercoaster ride is moving.

But that waiting in line isn’t just about writing the next book. It’s also marketing the existing books, and after trying out Facebook groups for two weeks where I post something about my book on two or three Kindle Unlimited groups, I’ve come to the conclusion that that shit just doesn’t work. You’re basically marketing to fellow authors, and maybe it gets you one sale here and there, but it’s a risk you take to post in many groups because Facebook will put your account in jail for a few hours or days. It’s just not worth it.

But you know what’s worth it? Facebook ads. Done right, that stuff works – but only when done right. When not done right, it’s money out the window with very low or hardly-there ROI. You don’t boost posts because that relies on engagement and somehow I’m not there yet when it comes to engagement with readers. I can count with ONE hand how many people will engage with me, and I’m grateful for every single one of them, but the same time it takes me to craft a single Facebook post hoping for engagement, I can literally craft a 2K word chapter. Seriously.

But FB ads, when done right, work. I don’t have to rely on engagement. Sure, it’s nice when people reply to the ads or boosted posts, and I envy writers who get thousands of likes and comments, but at least, with ad copy, I have the basics down. Four years of college majoring in Advertising and Journalism should give me the basics, right? And so I crafted my ad copy and let it loose. At first, there were more misses than hits. Performance versus clicks that were downright embarrassing. But at least you can test, and test some more.

That’s when I saw the sales happening, when I started with a good ad copy and then another. Started with one or two sales a day, then up to ten a day on a book that was released a year and a half ago. It’s not even my new release I’m talking about here. Loving Ashe is actually selling again. It’s also selling outside of Amazon, primarily iBooks AND Kobo.

I used to feel pangs of regret for leaving Kindle Unlimited, and it took awhile to get past that stage where my chest wouldn’t hurt from the mere thought of missed KENP reads and the bills I could pay with that money. But I don’t hurt anymore when I think about leaving KU. It’s nice to go wide. Scary at first, but nice.

And with the ads, I get to see my books sell on various platforms and that makes me feel good.

I just need to make sure to have the money set aside each month for my ad budget and go back to writing. Which brings me to one more realization after meeting so many “writers” who weren’t really writers after all. They’re strictly business people. They hire ghostwriters for their books and now every writer I meet is suspect. Seriously. It’s popped that “joy” bubble I thought everyone was on when it comes to writing.

Now I know better and it’s honestly made me hard inside, cold even. Real writers are hard to come by anymore. Sometimes I think no one writes for the love of writing anymore, but that’s really not my problem, not when I’ve got too many stories waiting for their turn. I still write for the love of writing because I need it to heal the wounds of my past and the unspoken words of my present, but I also know I have to run a business.

So the wait to get back on the rollercoaster begins. But, at least, now I’m wiser.

Writing for love is fine, but, hey, eventually you gotta write for the money. The bills still need to get paid.

Books

Everything She Ever Wanted: A Different Kind of Love Novel

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Everything She Ever Wanted
(A Different Kind of Love Novel)

by Liz Durano

Early Release Day: October 12, 2016

AMAZON | IBOOKS | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO

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Sign up for Liz’s newsletter and be the first to be notified of releases!

http://www.subscribepage.com/lizdurano

Join Liz’s Reader Group on Facebook for early news on books, chats and giveaways!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/librarycafereadergroup/

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Cover Model: Franggy Yanez

Blurb

I was never into fairy tales.

But discovering a real live princess in my house reminds me of the story of the three bears and some chick who breaks into their pad, eats all their food, and sleeps in their beds.

Just like the one that’s in mine right now.

At first, I thought she was dead, but the rise and fall of her chest told me that she was just passed out, probably from the half-empty bottle of Bordeaux I’d been saving for a special occasion. Two grand down the drain, courtesy of Goldi-effing-locks here, who’s not only passed out cold, but she’s also naked.

I should walk out right now and let her be…

But I can’t. Not when there’s something else next to the Bordeaux, something that shouldn’t be here. And it’s sitting on top of a note that begins with the words…

“I’m sorry I failed you…”

AMAZON | IBOOKS | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO

About the Author

Liz Durano is the author of four full-length novels, including the latest release, Everything She Ever Wanted: A Different Kind of Love Novel.  She grew up in the Philippines and credits her high school principal, Sr. Jerry, for setting her on the path to literature when she pulled Liz her out of Drama Club and enrolled her into Poetry Club (instead of suspending her for writing some NSFW stuff) in eight grade.  Although she studied Journalism in college, Liz prefers writing fiction over news and ad copy.  She currently lives in Southern California with her family.

Links

Website: https://lizdurano.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/lizduranobooks

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/librarycafereadergroup/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lizdurano

Instagram: http://instagram.com/lizdurano

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9858074.Liz_Durano

Writing

When That Marketing Hat Doesn’t Come Off As Easily As You Think…

I just realized that it’s been days since I last opened my Ulysses app, where I do most of my writing.  Ever since I clicked The End on my novel and the brand new cover was released to the world a week ago, no writing has happened.  Well, there were 580 or so  words the last two days but that’s nothing compared to my usual 1K a day minimum, with some days hitting 5 – 7K words.

So where did all my writing time go?

Book promotion.  Book promotion. Book promotion. (I know, it’s sad.)

This morning, while drinking my coffee (it’s #NationalCoffeeDay apparently, too), I thought about the many hats we self-published writers need to wear to get our books out there in the world.  Writing is really the easiest part.  And when you realize that you have no budget for the book release, it’s nerve-wracking.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-1-12-09-pmSo how do you promote a future release with NO budget other than agonizing over every decision down to, “did I choose the right font for my title?  Isn’t Times New Roman just way too boring?”

There’s always social media like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  There’s also blogging, and then there’s the trusty ol’ mailing list.  There’s also Thunderclap, a campaign that blasts out the book’s release to your followers.  I’m short 20 more supporters and it’s driving me crazy, so if you’re on social media and would like to help me get word of my book out to your followers on release day, here’s the link to the Thunderclap campaign.

And then there’s writing.  I need to get back to writing again, whether it’s working on that prequel to Everything She Ever Wanted or the bonus story, or editing Loving Riley, the sequel to Loving Ashe (finally!).  Maybe it will calm my nerves because I sure as heck am not calm, not when there are only 19 days left before release day.

So my plan for today is simple: get back to writing.  Find that joy again (because heaven knows, marketing and book promotions suck it right out of ya!) and write.  Write the next book and keep on going.

What about you? How’s your day going?

 

Books

Everything She Ever Wanted is Now Available for Pre-order!

Yup! My book is now available for pre-order and I couldn’t be happier.  With people asking where they could get the book, there was no point holding off on that pre-order so if you’d like to grab your copy, you can do so from most retailers here..

And you’re probably wondering why the title is the same, but something is different…?  Well, that’s because I changed the cover…again!  After looking deeper into genre expectation and polling other romance authors, I realized that I needed a man on the cover (preferably shirtless was the general consensus) and I found him – my perfect Dax Drexel in cover model and photographer, Franggy Yanez, a Venezuelan currently living in Amsterdam.

It even has a brand new description!

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HER PERFECTLY-PLANNED LIFE IS OFF-KILTER….

HIS IS OFF THE GRID.

At forty, transplant surgeon Harlow James’ life and career are in shambles.

So she hits the open road and ends up in Taos, New Mexico, hoping to find out where she went wrong.

But when master craftsman, Dax Drexel, unexpectedly shows up at her doorstep, sex and swagger all rolled into one, Harlow finds herself with the perfect distraction.  Sure, he’s rough around the edges and way too young, but he could also be the one man who can give her the only thing she’s always wanted.

At twenty-seven, Dax has everything a man could want – an award-winning career, friends and family who keep him grounded… and no commitments.

But when he finds a strange woman asleep in his bed at three in the morning, there’s something about her that won’t let him stay away.  Could it finally be love at first sight?

Or is it because of something that sits on top of her tear-stained note that begins with the words…

“I’m sorry I failed you…”


While it’s nerve-wracking to know that I’ve only got 22 more days before launch, I’m so excited to get this book out to the world.  Want to read the first four chapters?  Click here to read the preview.

Interested in reviewing, let me know and I’ll shoot you an ARC copy.

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Books

Now That Is A Cover Reveal…

Today has been a good day.

But first, let me go back a few days when I decided that although my latest cover for Everything She Ever Wanted: A Different Kind of Love was beautiful, it didn’t reflect the expectations of the romance genre.  Instead, my cover of the woman screamed Women’s Fiction loud and clear.

Unfortunately, my book isn’t Women’s Fiction. It’s Contemporary Romance. There’s a slight cross-over but let’s not say that.  So what to do?

Answer? I got myself a new cover.

But wait, you’re probably asking, didn’t you just have a cover reveal two weeks ago?  The one with the woman?  Yes, I did, and while the blog tour probably spammed all of the blogosphere and Twitter, it didn’t do as much as I’d hoped (honestly, I had no idea what to hope – I had no Preorder button so I couldn’t gauge any other engagement but the addition of the book to people’s reading lists on Goodreads).  And honestly, maybe it was just the timing, or maybe it was the cover, but the woman did not speak romance at all.

So this morning, cover model and photographer Franggy Yanez posted the following on his social media: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Result?

Let’s just say that even though it meant I now have to finish proofreading the 80K word novel instead of constantly revising it, it’s been a good day.


Do you like reading standalone contemporary romance?  Maybe an older woman-younger man romance?  Why not check out the first five chapters of Everything She Ever Wanted: A Different Kind of Love Novel?  If you want to be part of the launch team and help me by leaving an honest review, click here to fill out the form. You’ll receive an Advance Review Copy to review on launch day.

Or if you want to preorder it right now (yes, please!), click here.

 

Wattpad · Writers

Wattpad | Frights, Camera, Action: Turner Joins Forces with Wattpad for First-of-Its-Kind Collaboration

Apparently, I’m so behind with my Wattpad news because this news is from June, but still…this is great news! So if you write horror, why not check Wattpad out? And while you’re there, say hello!  I’m Morrighansmuse on there.

The initial focus of the partnership will be The Tales from the Crypt, the eagerly anticipated horror programming from Turner’s TNT and executive producer M. Night Shyamalan.  TNT and Wattpad will invite writers around the world to bring their story ideas forward through contests and other opportunities that will be announced on the official Turner profile on Wattpad and on social media.

“Our partnership with Wattpad is a perfect intersection of content and fan engagement, where fans actually have the chance to directly influence and, in some cases even have their material optioned and developed by our networks,” said Justin Williams, senior vice president of digital ventures for TNT and TBS. “We’re especially excited to kick off our collaboration with a focus on TNT’s Tales from the Crypt horror block, which will tap into Wattpad’s strength in the horror genre”

In addition, Turner will also tap into Wattpad’s sophisticated, data-driven models to help identify fresh new talent and ideas from the Wattpad community.  TBS and TNT’s development teams will review stories with an eye toward finding great ideas for television, digital and/or mobile platforms. The networks will also work with Wattpad to share story ideas and other material with the Wattpad community in order to receive immediate feedback from audiences around the world.

via Frights, Camera, Action: Turner Joins Forces with Wattpad for First-of-Its-Kind Collaboration – Wattpad

I’m also part of a Halloween anthology called Tenebris Somnia (Dark Dreams) that premieres on October 1st, and my short story, Guilty, will be featured on October 16.

Book Promotion & Marketing · Books

Free Kindle Downloads For Your Weekend!

I know it’s late and it’s probably the end of your Sunday where you are, but I’m still bleary-eyed as I sit in front of my laptop on a Sunday morning (9am) waiting for the caffeine withdrawal to hit.  So instead of making my personal pot of coffee first, I’m writing this post to let you know of a few free books you can download for your Kindle right now.  I also have the attention span of a 6-year-old at the moment (that’s what happens when you spend your days with one).

So, what’s free?  Of course, it’s my book, A Collateral Attraction: Fire & Ice Book 1!

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And while you’re there, check out these other free books by my friends as well!

Invoke – A paranormal romance by Michele Hayes

Confessions of a Wedding Planner – a fun romantic romp by Michelle Jo Quinn

Pitch Black – a romantic thriller by Elise Noble